George Soros pledges $500 million to Bard College

George Soros pledges $500 million to Bard College

Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has announced a $500 million challenge gift from Open Society Foundations founder George Soros.

The lead gift in a $1 billion endowment campaign — one of the largest ever to higher education in the United States — has already generated an additional $250 million from other donors in support of student financial aid, faculty recruitment and retention, and initiatives focused on raising the college's international profile. Bard will work to raise the remaining $250 million over the next five years.

A longtime supporter of Bard, Soros pledged $100 million to the college in 2020 in support of its Center for Civic Engagement, while in 2019 OSF committed $1 billion to the Open Society University Network, a global network of higher education institutions founded by OSF, Bard, and Central European University, a major beneficiary of Soros's philanthropy.

"This is the most historic moment since the college's founding in 1860," said Bard College president Leon Botstein. "When this endowment drive is complete, Bard will have a $1 billion endowment, which will ensure its pioneering mission and its academic excellence for the future."